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A Golden Finish to the Winter Guard Season

On Saturday, March 9th, the Woodlan Winter Guard competed in the IHSCGA Winter Guard finals for the Festival Class, and it was an exciting day to say the very least! After a disappointing Silver Rating at Carroll, the guard was ready to come back with a vengeance and show everyone what they’re made of. Read on to hear about the guard’s exciting conclusion to the season in Senior Guard Member Katy Gilbert's story below:

                The guard arrived at Woodlan at 6:50am to enjoy a breakfast that was provided by the guard directors and parents. They were treated to cinnamon rolls, French toast casserole, muffins, fruits, juice, and more. It was a relaxing way to start off a day that would no doubt be a stressful one. After breakfast, the guard loaded their equipment into the bus and the tarp into Gayleen Fogle’s truck. The guard loaded themselves, blankets and all, onto the bus, and settled in for the long bus ride to Decatur Central High School. They screamed their last “WE’RE TURNING LEFT'' of the season before falling asleep.

The guard arrived at Decatur Central and quickly unloaded the tarp and equipment. Then it was time for them to get their hair braided and make up done for their last competition of the season. Uniforms were put on and flags were handed out, and the guard made their way to inspection and warm-ups! It was a bit of a tight squeeze, but the guard managed to review their show and practice parts of their routine. Then it was time to perform!

During Warm-Ups

At 12:35pm, the Woodlan Winter Guard took the floor for their final competition. It was a bittersweet performance as they all prepared to end the season and Woodlan senior Katy Gilbert prepared to perform at her last competition ever. The guard put on an amazing performance and was met with cheers from the crowd. Everyone left the gym floor feeling very proud and accomplished.

            Awards rolled around at 2:30pm, and every guard member was sent up for awards. Every guard was met with a standing ovation from the audience. The guard waited anxiously for their results, hoping for the Gold ranking they worked so hard for. After Mishawaka was called for Gold, the Woodlan Guard's hearts started racing. “Woodlan High School from Woodburn, Indiana……GOLD!” The Woodlan crowd erupted into cheers and applause. All of the hard work these kids put in had paid off! All but two groups came home with a Gold rating, making it a successful day for all of the guards.

As awards came to a close, the reality of the season ending hit the performers and tears were most definitely shed. It was a tough pill to swallow knowing that one member had just competed for the last time and one director had just concluded her final Winter season. However, the guard was so proud of how they had performed and the directors were also extremely proud of their performers.

            It was an amazing way to conclude the season. On the bus ride home, some of the guard girls painted faces to pass the time. When they got back to the school, they unloaded the tarp for the final time, and many girls went home. Joie Thiele and her family were kind enough to bring a baby goat for the staff and Katy (who may or may not have been begging her all season) to hold and snuggle. 

Congrats on Gold! We are so proud of all of you!❤️.   Breaking the fourth wall here for a minute, but I wanted to tell the guard how truly proud of them I am, and I wanted to thank Sarah Harber for giving me the opportunity to share our adventures with you all!!   - Katy Gilbert

(And Katy, a message for you: Thank YOU for all you have contributed to the Spirit of Woodlan and Woodlan Winter Guard. You are an amazing leader and you will be greatly missed! I am very grateful for your willingness to help tell the Winter Guard’s stories here on this blog. Thank you so much!!)

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